Friday, February 25, 2011

Following Directions

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I am taking the Basic Cake Decorating class at my local Michael's.  My sister took this class a few years ago and has made some amazing cakes.  Now that we have the Little Guy I wanted to be able to make birthday cakes for him!  In general I'm a pretty artsy person.  I like to draw, paint and do crafts.  I enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen so I thought cake decorating would be a natural fit.  Pretty much I thought I'd have my own Food Network show by now, you know, two weeks after I started.

My dreams of being a cable star just might have come true IF I could follow directions.  Our first week of class we had a lot of "lecture" about how to make buttercream icing, what tools we needed and making a cake that didn't puff out in the middle.  Like a good student I dutifully wrote down all of the teacher's suggestions.  I left excited to go home and make my cake and 2 batches of buttercream icing.

Fast forward to week 2 of class.  We've just finishing icing our cakes and the teacher is showing us how to make a smooth surface on a cake.  I bet you didn't know how to do this either!  Once your icing has dried simply take a piece of parchment paper and place it on the cake.  Then just lightly press on any areas that have lines or ridges and they will smooth right out!  The key to doing this however is making sure your icing is dry.

Everyone else is smoothing their cakes and I am just waiting and waiting and waiting for my icing to dry.  I waited about 5 days and my icing never dried.  I finally just skipped to icing the cake because I couldn't wait any longer! 

I shared my first cake last week but here it is again....

In generally I was pretty pleased other than the icing that never dried.  The icing didn't taste as good as I hoped either (typically I LOVE buttercream icing) but I hoped that would keep me from eating all of my new creations!

This week our assignment was cupcakes and again 2 batches of icing.  The Little Guy is still young enough for me to blame everything on pregnancy brain so I called my friend Amanda and asked her to remind me how many cups of powdered sugar I needed for the recipe.  3 & 3/4 cups.  Just like it was written in my book.  Just like I totally DIDN'T put in the week before!  No wonder my icing tasted horrible and never dried.  I had only put 2 cups on sugar in it!!  We joked that maybe it would serve as a lo-cal version of buttercream (ha!) and I made sure I made my icing correctly.  Sure enough my cupcakes have that nice icing crunch on them!

Clearly I need to learn to follow directions!  Here are some of this week's creations.

These were iced to practice the techniques we learned in class; rosettes, shells, flowers, shaggy mums etc.  These aren't official "I tried really hard to make amazing cupcakes for x occasion" cupcakes.  When I have some of those I will share!

Today I'm linking up with:
Simply Designing
It's A Hodgepodge Life
Making the World Cuter


Anonymous said...

Love it! A friend and I have discussed doing a cake decorating class, too. I just might do it after seeing what you've learned and created!

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